Red FLAG: 8 times Rob Bishop just didn’t get when it comes to public lands

Utah Congressman Rob Bishop’s Federal Lands Action Group meets again today to discuss strategies for transferring national public lands and parks to states – a move many observers have said will force cash-strapped states to sell the lands, due to the high cost of maintenance and fire-fighting.

The meeting comes hot off the heels of Congressman Bishop’s latest revealing moment: During the Puerto Rico debt crisis debate, he said the territory’s Vieques National Wildlife Refuge, “should be transferred to Puerto Rico, “except you have a power hungry administration that won’t give up an inch of land, which is the same thing East Germany did under the communist regime.”

Bishop, who has refused to denounce the violent takeover of Malheur national refuge, has long held the view that any public ownership of lands could only be the objective of a communist or authoritarian government:

1. Congressman Rob Bishop, in 2013, said the land policies of the government in communist East Germany are similar to the land policies of the federal government in the Western United States today, saying“If [East Germans] actually wished to possess the building, they had to find private land to trade to the government because the official policy of East Germany was ‘no net loss of federal land.’  I mention that because communist East Germany has the same policy standard as the Department of the Interior and Forest Service have today.”  (Congressional Record, 09/27/13 

2. Congressman Rob Bishop said since the fall of the Berlin Wall the federal government has “‘doubled down to insist that central planning be done out of Washington with one-size-fits-all solutions.’” According to Lindsey Burke of the Heritage Foundation, Congressman Rob Bishop said, in Washington, DC, “‘every bureaucracy has, since’” the fall of the Berlin Wall in the late 1980s “‘doubled down to insist that central planning be done out of Washington with one-size-fits-all solutions.’”  (Deseret Morning News, 07/26/12)

3. Congressman Rob Bishop, in 2012, compared living in the Western United States to being a slave: “[Abraham] Lincoln once said this nation…could not survive half slave and half free.  I’m going to tell you the West cannot survive half colonized and half free.”  (Minute 44 of

4. In a 2015 interview with The Washington Examiner, Rob Bishop said that “‘the attitude of the Forest Service and the Interior Department…is the same [as the] mindset that the German East government had in the Communist era.’” (The Washington Examiner, 03/23/15)

5. Rob Bishop, at a hearing of “a House Natural Resources subcommittee” in 2007, said a “bill that would designate almost 20 million acres of Western land as wilderness” was similar to “a Soviet-style land grab.”  (Flathead Beacon, 10/19/07

6. On a panel at the Western Republican Leadership Conference in 2011, Rob Bishop said “‘the federal government owns one out of every three acres in this country.  If it’s west of Denver, they own one out of every two acres.  If this kind of federal control is good, then the Soviet Union should have been the Garden of Eden.’” (ThinkProgress, 10/27/11.  Direct link to audio:

7. During a debate over the government shutdown Rob Bishop criticized “the park service’s position and its ‘Soviet-era mindset’ of centralized control of land.”  (Rob Bishop Press Release, 11/21/13, and Cronkite News, 11/21/13)

8. In 2014, Rob Bishop stated, “‘What we simply have found is the federal government has large, centralized bureaucracies that do our land management process that no longer meet the needs of people.”  He continued, “it is mind-boggling that the nation who defeated the Soviet Union with creativity and freedom, still decides to solve all problems and all management issues by going back to a Soviet-style agency program.’”  (The Hill, 02/06/14)

That should leave not doubt about who Congressman Bishop stand with: The extreme backers of the movement to sell and sale public lands, not the majority of Americans who believe we should keep public lands public.  Click here to tell Congressman Bishop you oppose the seizure and sale of our public lands, and that you’re not buying his snake oil. 

See the ad we ran in a Washington, D.C. newspaper to hold him accountable below:

Rob Bishop ad

Join the effort to strengthen the American West.